I'm new to towing and I am working on a trailer safety checklist to go through before we ride. Any additions are welcome and appreciated.

  1. Check receiver - ensure it is secure to vehicle
  2. Check hitch - ensure it is secure within receiver and pin is secure and locked
  3. Check ball - ensure it is secure
  4. Ensure safety chain/s are connected
  5. Ensure lighting system is connected and is operational
  6. Check tire pressure
  7. Ensure contents on trailer are secure with no loose tie-downs.
  • #8. Don't forget to do the list! (Last year I was pulling my car behind a moving truck and "thought" my friend was doing the final checks on the trailer...it was not an easy task to get it all hooked back up when the trailer came loose...with the car on...on a small hill! Fortunately no damage and no injuries!)
    – RSW
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 11:59

2 Answers 2


Nice list you've put together so far.

  • If you don't tow often, double-check the registration on the plate.

  • Inspect Trailer Tie-Down Locking Mechanism, and Materials. You're looking for cranks that physically won't turn (due to rust), worn straps due to friction or chafing, or broken hooks or loops on the object being towed.

  • Are your wheels self-greasing? Do they need fresh grease injected every so often?

  • You mentioned tire pressure; don't forget tire tread and overall tire life. Any dry rot should warrant immediate replacement. Nothing like heading down a 6-lane expressway on a loop around a major city and feeling an immediate drag as you look in the mirror and see a massive puff of smoke (not that this ever happened to me...)


Don't forget about proper load distribution on the trailer. If you look at the videos on the Internet where a trailer on the highway starts turning right and left and ends up jackknifing, it's usually because the load was placed too far back on the trailer, causing it to lift up in front.

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